Kill algae and mould from your paving with three ‘effective’ methods

Kill algae and mould from your paving with three ‘effective’ methods


Gardening tips: How to remove moss on drives and patios

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As winter weather is slowly creeping up on the UK, gardens are set to be affected the most by the harsh effects of the cold and wet conditions. Due to high moisture levels in the air, more rain and less sunlight, algae and mould can build up in autumn and winter, particularly on patios made from concrete, wood and stone. Understanding this, paving specialist and director of Infinite Paving, Rowan Cripps, has given his top tips on how to clean, care for, and protect paving stones from mould and algae damage this autumn and winter.

For those looking for low cost ways to remove algae and mould from their paving, the paving pro has shared three low price methods.

White vinegar 

Rowan said: “White vinegar is an eco-friendly way to remove algae from outdoor tiles in a practical and effective way. Simply spray it onto the algae and let it sit for less than an hour.”

Once it has penetrated the spot, the acidity will break down the algae, then scrub the surface with a stiff-bristle brush. 

The expert urged: “If the concrete was made to look like stone, try to brush in line with the original surface to avoid any scratches. Then, rinse with water and let it dry.

“However, the acid in white vinegar can also damage natural stone with a high lime content. If you plan on using vinegar, we’d recommend trying this in a hidden spot to test its effectiveness first.”

Mould remover 

According to Rowan, using algae and mould remover can help to remove algae and mould in as little as 48 hours. He added: “It can also prevent it from reappearing over the next several months. 

“The toxins included in these formulas can kill algae and mould without damaging your outdoor flooring.”

Dish soap and water 

Dish soap can also work well to clean mould and grimy concrete. To use his method, mix warm water with dish soap and apply it to the surface. 

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Let it sit for a while until the dirt becomes loose and easy to remove, before then mopping the tiling and rinsing it with fresh water. Don’t be afraid to continue this process if it requires further cleaning.

On the pricier side, gardeners can use a pressure washer to clean paving, but they need to take care when using it as it can cause long-lasting damage.

The expert explained: “This can remove algae for patios, however, it can also remove grout. Grout protects and adds longevity to patio slabs.

“If you plan on using a pressure-washer, be sure to be careful not to touch the grout and try testing the power washer on a low setting and only focus on a small area first to see the effects. 

“A pressure washer can also damage patio tiles, making it more porous. So in the short-term it may clean your patio, but in the long-term it can cause it to become dirtier and encourage even more build up of algae.”

While these methods all hold some form of effectiveness, it is always best to prevent mould and algae from growing in the first place. One of these ways can be by adding light to gardens. 

Rowan advised: “Try putting up a lattice fence or panel in your garden. Whilst still adding privacy to your outdoor space, these allow more light into your garden, making it harder for mould and algae to grow in less dark and damp areas.”

The paving specialist also suggested planning ahead for next year to prevent the build up of mould and algae. One of these ways is by choosing a sandstone or limestone material for tiling.

He explained: “Opting for impermeable, flatter materials will help to prevent a buildup better than porous, uneven surfaces will. Porous materials allow more air and moisture into them, encouraging a buildup of algae. 

“Sandstone and limestone are examples of porous rocks, whereas slate, marble and granite are examples of impermeable rock.”

Gardeners should also think about the drainage they have outdoors. Rowan said: “Having good drainage for your outdoor tiling can also help to prevent a buildup of moisture. 

“A slightly slanted patio can help with drainage, however, it can be difficult, inconvenient and expensive to make an existing patio slanted.”

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